To those who are listening, the Holy Spirit is saying urgently, “Prepare yourselves for Jesus’ coming!” There is an excitement in the air, almost like “electricity”. I have felt that urgency only one other time in my life, and that was in July 1993 when the doctor told me I had five melanomas and liver cancer, and I would be dead in a month. An overwhelming feeling of urgency came over me. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I felt hot all over. Suddenly, everything that was important in my life was no longer important. Making money wasn’t important. Having fun wasn’t important. Impressing people with my collection of Mercedes Benz cars wasn’t important. The only thing that was important to me was where I was going to be spending eternity. I knew where I was headed, and it wasn’t heaven.
Why does it take a death sentence for some people to get their priorities straight? I’d like to call this teaching “Priorities”. As I said in my last letter, remember Noah. Everyone in his day had their minds on business as usual. Don’t you know that thousands of people must have asked Noah what in the world he was doing? Building an ark.” ” What for?” ” Because God’s going to destroy the earth with a flood.” “What’s a flood?” “Well, it’s going to rain until the earth is flooded.” ” What’s rain, you crazy old man? Look at this crazy guy, Fred, building an ark. Ha, ha, he’s been out in the sun too long. C’mon, let’s go have us a beer and leave this nut alone before someone sees us talking to him.”
And it is written in Genesis 7:11-13, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”
Don’t you know that people’s priorities changed when the water started coming up? The main event was no longer work or entertainment, but survival! And you know the rest of the story….the waters prevailed over all the earth and every living thing that was upon the face of the earth, died. But it didn’t have to be that way. Men could have simply repented of their wickedness and God, who is full of mercy, would surely have spared them. But they would not.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like the world we are living in today? God comes with mercy, saying in Ezekiel 18:31, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the LORD GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” And yet people turned a deaf ear to God’s warning. Because they refused to repent, they perished. God says He changes not. Now if He doesn’t change, then we’d better heed the warning and jerk the slack out of ourselves before the Lord does it for us.

A friend of mine said the other day, “Before the Lord kicks you in the butt, He always taps you first on the shoulder.” I like that. Simple enough a child could understand.
Many think God is only a God of love. He is a God of love. He IS Love. But because He is Love, He cannot allow His children to ignore the fact that they need to clean up their act, lest He tell them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
The Lord is speaking the last few days to me from Matthew 25:1:13. And beloved friends, if this isn’t about priorities, I don’t know what is! Let’s read the whole story:

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their   lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Initially, the priority of all ten of these virgins was to go to meet the Bridegroom at the wedding. And that’s a noble priority. Trouble is, only half of them made the effort to prepare. Let’s liken this to the here and now. Let’s say ten of us go to church every week. We hear the sermon, and agree, this is good stuff. We need to do this. And five of us do. And five of us agree this is good stuff and we need to do this. See where I’m going with this? Priorities, my friend. The five that hear the word of God and do it, have made that their number one priority. The five that hear the Word of God and don’t do it have put it in a lower priority. Oh, they hear and agree it’s good, they may even be able to quote the verses to you, but when the rubber meets the road, something else is more important to them than doing the Word of God. So I’m asking you, what is first priority to you right now? Your job? Making a living? Weekends at the Lake? Family? Friends? Everyone has a number one priority. Let’s be honest now. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God.

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

There are those who prepare, then rest. And there are those who rest, intending to prepare later. Which are you?

When the cry was made, Here comes the Bridegroom! the five foolish virgins had run out of oil, and thought the wise ones would give them some. Some “lazy” Christians tend to think they will be ready because they intend to make ready when there’s time. But there just never seems to be time for them to get ready. Wise Christians know to get ready now, because there may not be time later. I can’t give you my “oil”. You must get your own.
Can you look me straight in the eye and say, “I’m ready for Jesus to come right this instant.“? Or if you saw Him coming, would you shrink back and say, “Lord, just give me a little more time, and I’ll get ready.”?

I’m telling you, Jesus is coming quickly. If you aren’t ready right now, then get ready! If you’ve been asleep at the wheel, this is your wake up call! And it may be the last one you will get. You are on the road leading to eternity, whether you like to think about that or not. You are blasting down that road at full speed, and if you’re not on the road leading to Jesus, then you have a bridge out ahead and it’s my job to warn you. You have to turn around!

Listen, if you are leaving from Missouri and you want to go to New York, and you are heading west, you will not get to New York any day soon. You’re going the wrong way. Turn around! There is still time for you to get right with God, but it’s disappearing fast. If living your life for God is not your first priority, then you have a rude awakening waiting for you. I can warn you, but you must listen or it will not profit you. Jesus is coming soon, I’m asking you again, are you ready?

Some of you might be getting a little tired of hearing that. You might be saying I’ve heard that all my life, so where is He? And I know that if you holler “wolf” too many times, finally no one pays any attention. But wouldn’t you rather hear “Jesus is coming!” and take warning and be ready, than have Him show up and catch you not prepared? If I’m wrong about His coming very soon, and you are ready, and He delays, then there’s no harm done.

 But if I’m right and you’re not ready????